Women’s Volleyball Drops 3-2 Road Tilt At Ohio State
No. 10 Penn State (19-8, 11-5 Big Ten) went five in Columbus Saturday night, but crumbled down the stretch to lose 3-2 (22-25, 25-15, 25-19, 22-25, 16-18) to Geoff Carlston’s Buckeyes. The Nittany Lions topped Ohio State at home in straight sets a few weeks ago.
How It Happened
In her return to the starting lineup, junior setter Abby Detering made sure the Buckeyes took notice in her home state of Ohio. The Mentor native paced Penn State’s offense by dishing out a match-high 55 assists — good for a solid .297 hitting percentage. Haleigh Washington was phenomenal in St. John Arena, providing a new career-high 19 kills on a ridiculously efficient .621 clip. Ohio State’s star senior Taylor Sandbothe matched her step for step and then some with a match-high 25 kills.
Simone Lee turned in yet another strong showing on the road, matching Washington with 19 kills, while classmate Heidi Thelen stepped up on the right side with 11 of her own. Outside hitter Ali Frantti put together a balanced evening thanks to nine kills and nine digs. Tori Gorrell added four more to round out the scoring for the Nittany Lions. Kendall White and Keeton Holcomb were fantastic on the defensive end with 23 and 12 digs, respectively. However, Penn State would blow a pair of late leads in the fourth and fifth set.
Russ Rose’s Nittany Lions were up 19-17 with a chance to put things away, but Ohio State didn’t flinch, going on an 8-3 run to force a final frame. Penn State also held a 12-11 lead over the Buckeyes, yet it surrendered seven of the next 11 points to cement a tough defeat. Senior Valeria León finished with a match-high 24 digs for the scarlet and gray. Taylor Hughes and Abby Fesl split setting duties for Ohio State, combining for 61 assists in the victory.
Player Of The Match
Taylor Sandbothe | Senior | Middle blocker
The Lee’s Summitt, Mo., native showed why she’s one of the most respected players in the Big Ten, leading the Buckeyes to an impressive conference win.
The Nittany Lions have one more away match on the schedule before returning to Rec Hall, as they’ll travel to Lincoln to face No. 1 Nebraska this Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. ET. The Cornhuskers topped Penn State 3-2 earlier this season.